There’s more to cleaning your car than just giving it a quick splash. Everybody who owns a car needs to keep it clean inside and out. Open virtual bracket. Before I’ve forgotten, here is something I wanted to share with you. We ‘ve recently teamed up with Anyclean London to get all Panel Wizard clients a great deal on car carpet and upholstery steam cleaning. This is an exclusive offer that I have (proudly) managed to negotiate just for you. End virtual bracket 🙂
You want to make sure that you’re not that person with the mucky car – the sort where you have to brush crisp packets and takeaway food wrappers off the seat to take a passenger, or the sort with so much dirt on the outside that people start trying to write “Clean Me” messages (or worse) in the build-up. By the way, if things have got so bad that your friends have tried to write things in the dirt and dust on your doors and the tailgate of your hatchback, this has probably scratched the paintwork as well, so you’d probably better get those scratches repaired pronto as well as getting your car washed properly as soon as possible.
Washing your car regularly might seem like one of those slightly stuffy and rather boring things that is only of interest to middle-aged car enthusiasts – the sort of people who drive classic Jaguars and spend half the weekend buffing up the headlights with a chamois leather and the rest of the weekend driving through country lanes with fellow enthusiasts. Or else it might bring back too many memories of your dad telling you to go and clean the car or else when what you really wanted to do was to fool around on the X-Box.
It’s especially important to keep your car scrupulously clean during winter here in the UK. This isn’t just because when it’s wet, cold and rainy, there’s more mud and dirty water to splash up all over your paintwork, although that’s certainly true. Over here, we ensure that the roads stay safe and ice-free by applying salt to them. Salt helps keeps the ice off but it’s hell on paintwork. The only answer is to ensure that you wash the salt and other deposits off – and to do it properly.
Going through your local drive-through car wash might seem like a good solution. To a certain extent, this is true. An automatic car wash will remove all the surface grime from your paintwork, bumpers and the like so people can’t graffiti your vehicle.
However, these automatic car wash facilities have their drawbacks – and that’s assuming that you’re not the claustrophobic type who gets the heebie-jeebies taking it through. For example, many of those car wash facilities can’t handle certain types of vehicle (soft-top coupés and convertibles, for example) or vehicles with extra fittings. The worst types of car wash are the sort that use brushes as opposed to the touch-free or brushless type, as these can damage your paintwork and don’t play nicely with any extra after-market body kit that you’ve put on your vehicle. The brushless sort, however, don’t always remove all of the dirt.
Neither brushless carwashes nor the sort with the big rotating brushes manages to do a really good job of the underparts of your vehicle. This is why you’ll never see professional car detailers taking their vehicles through one of these machines. They just don’t remove all of the dirt, debris and salt. These drive-through car wash facilities also leave residues on your windscreen, which can contribute to the problem of sun strike at the beginning and the end of the day when the sun is low in the sky.
Lastly, of course, those drive-through facilities only pay attention to the outside of your car, and it’s important to clean your car internally and externally.
When you clean your car, it’s important not to skip the polishing step. This is because applying polish and wax protects your paintwork by restoring the clear outer layer of the finish. You’ve probably noticed just how shiny a brand new car is compared to one that’s been on the road for a while. However, a good polish will remove those micro-cracks in the paint and will help your car stay rust-free and looking good for longer. Proper attention to the polishing and waxing stages of cleaning a car is how rental cars manage to stay looking good even though they’ve clocked up quite a few thousand kilometres.
Polishing and waxing are also important for ensuring that your vehicle stays protected from the elements, especially if you live somewhere without off-street parking or if you have to leave your car parked outdoors in the staff carpark during the day a lot. Sun, wind and rain are tough on paintwork, and the elements are tougher on some colours than others. It’s probably something to do with the electromagnetic spectrum but red paintwork always seems to show signs of sun damage sooner than other colours – which means that if you’ve got a lovely little cherry-red sports hatch, keeping up the polish and waxing schedule are important.
Polish and wax also help rainwater flow off your car’s body quickly. This, though you may not realise it, means that if there are any tiny cracks or dents in the paintwork, the rain is less likely to get into them and cause rust.